etsy shop help :: using picnik for photos

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etsy shop help

sometimes, i take terrible photos (see below).  lucky for me {and you!} there are plenty of ways to aid our poor photography skills!  i switch between a few programs when editing photos and working on posts, but one of the easiest, not to mention free, programs i use is and today i’m going to walk you through editing some photos..

picnik tutorial

terrible photo number one.  this is me, with my bird nest in full mode.  it’s hard to be your own photographer sometimes, but i set up my tripod and give it my best go.  first things first, go to and upload your photo. screen capture 2010-4-28-11-48-28

for my picture, the first thing i want to do is cut out all the excess surroundings- i.e. crop the photo.  at the top of picnik’s header, go to edit then crop. crop according to the size you would like, then hit ok.

picnik tutorial

whew! that’s better.  now for my favorite feature on picnik- the exposure tab! click on over to exposure, and since many of us won’t always have perfect lighting, here’s is where you can compensate for it.  generally, all my pictures look a bit better when i slide the exposure up, then slide the contrast up until it’s looks good. you’ll have to play with this back and forth, but it can make all the difference in your photo.  here the exposure is set to 24 and the contrast is set to 23.  hit ok when you’re done.

picnik tutorial

now it’s time for another setting that many photos can benefit from- the colors tab. if you want to bump the saturation (i.e. enhance the colors) here’s where you do that.  it’s easy to go overboard here, so make sure you’re only enhance the colors to where it looks like it does in real life.  many times, the camera or lighting can drone out the colors, so my goal is to only enhance photos until they look like the original again.  here, i bumped the saturation up to 13.  temperature can compensate for different color casts your photo may have.  sliding to the right makes it warmer, and sliding to the left makes it cooler.

picnik tutorial

finally, you can play with your photo!  picnik has hundreds of frames, stickers, effects and text features that you can doll up your photo with. here, i’ll keep it simple and add the word ‘flowers’.  click over on the create tab, then click on text.  type your desired text in the box (top left) and hit add. then, it’s simple to pick the color via the box on the right, and choose your font from the options on the left.

picnik tutorial

here’s the before and after! how thankful i am for picnik!

picnik tutorial

you can do tons of other things with picnik as well, for example, make simple collages. head over to the collages tab and choose your layout from the options at the left.  you can also choose at the bottom, where you would like your photos from (i.e. your computer, photo bucket, picasa web albums etc.).

picnik tutorial

from the list at the bottom of your screen, simply drag and drop your photos into the desired spots.  you can also edit the spacing between your photos and what color you wouldlike that spacing.  here i’ve chosen 4 for the spacing and white for the color. after you’re happy with your collage, hit done.

picnik tutorial

then, you can add effects, borders, text and the like to your finished collage!  here, i added a simple border.  click on create then hit frames. i then clicked on border from the list on the left.  i chose the color yellow for the outer border and white for the inner.  you can also edit the spacing and caption height.

picnik tutorial

and voila! a simple collage that looks great and only took about 3 minutes!


  • I always wondered who took the photos of you in your aprons…clever lady! :)

    and…my shop has definitely benefited from your photo editing tips, so grateful!!!

    • hey jes! i should’ve mentioned this, too. i’ve got a little remote ‘clicker’ for my camera (only like $7!)- it’s an automatic shutter release. so, i don’t have to keep running back and forth with the self-timer, i can just ‘shoot’ with the remote in my hand! did that make any sense?

  • Bonnie, you’re posts are so great- I like reading them, and I don’t even have an etsy shop:) I just love how you’re sharing the things you’ve learned to help others…

  • thanks for this, Bonnie! I am taking pics, in the next couple of days, of my first items to list on Etsy and I am totally taking you up on your offer!! And I can really use the help… :-)

  • I love your photos! And picnik is fabulous, you’ve inspired me to try a few new things with it. I would love to know how you get the cute deco tape on some of the photos you post, I’ve been meaning to research how to do this…maybe you might do a post on this? =)

    • hi jamie! great idea! maybe stay tuned for next week’s post. ;)

  • I love this! I can’t wait to try picnic for my shop emails. I’m going to try a collage.

  • Thanks for this post! Your photos are awesome. I’m about to start an etsy shop selling tote bags and fabric-related things and was a bit wary about taking photos. Now I feel much better!

    Btw, I found out about your blog through Etsy’s featured sellers. You have awesome stuff!

    • thanks lucia! you’re so sweet, i’ll stay tuned to your shop!

  • Thank you so much for this! I had no idea such a program existed and I’ll definitely be using it a lot!

  • Thank you so much!!! I have just joined Picnick & have how compatible it is with flickr! I have already made a collage!

  • Thank you for this post and the entrée to the wonderful world of picnik. I was looking for hours last week for an online collage site, even found Picnik but somehow I missed how awesome Picnik is.

    • aw, so glad to help! let me know if you have any questions!

  • thank you so much for this tutorial! it is so helpful and fabulous to see how it’s done, step by step!

    have a wonderful weekend!

  • Bonnie,

    You appear to be the guru of picture taking. I am having a problem with Etsy loading my pictures. I have never had this problem before anywhere. They are saying my pictures are too large or the pixel count is too high. I am not a professional photographer, obviously, so I do not know how to correct the problem. I have a MacBook laptop and use their IPhoto to edit/crop my pictures. I have them as jpeg, so I don’t know what to do now. Please advise.

    Many thanks,

    • hi jennifer!

      first of all, yeah to your for having a mac! this will be easy. :) first off, i would recommend downloading google’s picasa software- it’s free and organizes your pictures much better than iphoto does. then, it’s easy to resize- just right click on the picture you want to resize and choose ‘open with’ > then choose ‘preview’. then go to ‘tool’, ‘resize image’ and put in your dimensions. for etsy, i usually go 600 px wide, but no larger than 800 px wide. then hit ‘ctrl + s’ to save!

      another great and easy tool to use is it’s free editing software that lets you edit and improve your photos really easily- and resizing is really easy. here’s an article i wrote about it:

      please, let me know if you have any more questions, and good luck!

  • …this is fabulous! thank you so much for this tutorial. jynene

  • Hi Bonnie!
    I was so excited to read about something I could afford (free – yay!) and that could help my lack luster etsy photos. Can you suggest something that replaces picnik since it closed?
    Thanks so much,

    • yes! try picmonkey! :)

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